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 Posted:   Jul 4, 2013 - 4:41 PM   
 By:   TominAtl   (Member)

Back in the early 90's I purchased a cassette that was a compilation of sorts of epic film scores. Included in it it had, for me, one of the best re-recorded versions of Rosza's "The Galley" or "Rowing of the Galley Slaves", etc(call it what you will) from Ben-Hur that I have ever heard. It was done to more or less to sound like a concert piece rather than an actual note for note accurate reproduction. It was quite thunderous and the finale of the cue fantastic. Sadly I lost that and many other cassette tapes over the years.

I was hoping for a bit of help in the hopes that someone may actually have this recording on cd. The best additional info I can give is that, if memory serves, it was produced by London Records / London Recordings and the word Epic was included in the title.

I've done a search online of course and cannot locate it so I was wondering if anyone here recalls this and could they point me in the right direction if it's even available on cd?

Any help would be appreciated and thanks in advance!

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 4, 2013 - 6:34 PM   
 By:   pp312   (Member)

Rozsa himself did a Ben-Hur re-recording in the late 70s that had just such a "rowing" rendition as you describe, so it could have been that. However, being a compilation suggests otherwise, and to me this sounds like the work of Stanley Black, who recorded prolifically for Decca/London and who had something of a penchant for Rozsa. I would start by investigating the recordings of Black.

Actually I think it might be the cassette version of this LP, which had about the best B-H suite I've ever heard:

http://s.pixogs.com/image/R-2530436-1308094815.jpeg

 
 Posted:   Jul 4, 2013 - 10:56 PM   
 By:   Amer Zahid   (Member)

I think you may be refering to the version of re-recording highlight on the Decca Phase 4 recording/ I think its also available on CD and yes it has the concert version of the "Rowing of the Galley Slaves"cue. It was issued on Cd on the Vocalion album with Quo Vadis- it may be out of print now but London Records has issued it again with a different program.

http://www.amazon.com/Rozsa-Ben-Vadis-Julius-Caesar/dp/B0047VETBY

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 5, 2013 - 12:07 AM   
 By:   pp312   (Member)

That's the version I referred to initially in my post. But the OP says a compilation, so that doesn't compute. The Stanley Black is by far the best bet.

 
 Posted:   Jul 5, 2013 - 5:15 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

That was of course on London Decca, then on Dutton/Vocalion, and then Decca Eloquence with the excellent NPO.

I'm foxed though by the OP's suggestion it was a 'compilation' album.

There was also a performance of the concert version as part of the Ben-Hur orchestral suite, on a CD with the Bavarian Radio Youth Orchestra in a Berlin concert, and another on the Valois/Naif label with the North Hungarian SO.

And of course, the piece has been included in two of the three MGM albums, Rome and Nuremberg, all in the FSM BH box set. It's also on Kunzel's Telarc SACD of the 'choral suites' where much more of the orchestrational details leap out.


The concert version has some changes, is faster, has the full original (not in the film) coda, has the second half lifted an octave, and has changes in the orchestration, and some bars deleted, some added, and is more prominently accelerando.

There's also a hard to get French recording with the so-called 'Norman Maine Orchestra' which is edited and scored for a small orchestra.

Actually, check the Rozsa Society's site with its complete downloadable discographies, come to think on it.

 
 Posted:   Jul 5, 2013 - 7:06 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

P.S. - Stanley Black recorded two 'Ben-Hur' suites, one with the London Festival Orchestra and the other with the BBC Concert Orchestra. Neither contained the galley music, nor did Ron Goodwin's suite.

Whatever the compilation was, it's sure to be the NPO Decca performance featured in some sort of compilation album format.

The original poster would do well to pick up the London recording we've mentioned above, because it's sublime and audiophile. It also contains 'new' material insofar as the 'Miracle and Finale' is a previously unrecorded version which Rozsa had originally scored, it's on the scoresheets, but was never recorded at the FSM original sessions.

He'd also do well to pick up the FSM 5-disc set, which has all the alternative cues and three albums from MGM, two of which include versions of that concert galley slaves piece.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 5, 2013 - 7:53 AM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

Whichever the performance in question, it's nice to see somebody actually responding to the musicianship. I get so tired of the usual "it doesn't sound exactly like it did in the movie" -- the absolute lowest form of critical discourse.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 5, 2013 - 7:34 PM   
 By:   pp312   (Member)

Maybe not the lowest form. After all, it was that original performance that attracted the buyer in the first place, not some other with different notes and pacing. Music, like movies, is a series of moments, and often people are buying the music for just those moments. If you went to see your favourite movie and found they'd subtly changed your favourite scene, so that now instead of slapping her back after she slaps him he just pushes her away, I think you'd want to know what was going on. You might even want your money back.

 
 Posted:   Jul 6, 2013 - 7:31 AM   
 By:   TominAtl   (Member)

I think you may be refering to the version of re-recording highlight on the Decca Phase 4 recording/ I think its also available on CD and yes it has the concert version of the "Rowing of the Galley Slaves"cue. It was issued on Cd on the Vocalion album with Quo Vadis- it may be out of print now but London Records has issued it again with a different program.

http://www.amazon.com/Rozsa-Ben-Vadis-Julius-Caesar/dp/B0047VETBY


Amer, I think you nailed it. I do faintly remember now that you mentioned it "Julius Caesar" being a part of the album, in addition again with you mentioning Decca Phase 4 being the studio.

Thank you so much and everyone else for your input. Ya'll are awesome! What a great resource this place has been for me over the years.



 
 
 Posted:   Jul 8, 2013 - 12:30 PM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

DEAR pp132 --

With all due respect, and acknowledging that what you are saying is true as far as it goes: it goes only so far as film music is concerned, and yet there are things which pertain to film music which do not necessarily pertain to the overall subject of music purely as music, and I think this is the context in which Rozsaphile was writing. As fate would have it, the following appeared in yesterday's L.A. Times, and I offer it here FWIW:

The article by Dana Ferguson recounts the memories of mezzo soprano Candice Burrows of working with Leonard Bernstein on his "Songfest" cycle. "Bernstein taught her (a) lesson. After she'd become accustomed to following his lead, the maestro stepped back during one performance so that when Burrows sang, he was out of her sight. Rather than relying on his direction, she was forced to tap her own knowledge of the music. 'It was magic. After the show he said, "Every night do something different,"' Burrows said. '"Music is alive and it should never be the same."'"

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/la-et-cm-songfest-bernstein-tribute-20130707,0,2423448.story

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 8, 2013 - 5:50 PM   
 By:   pp312   (Member)

DEAR pp132 --

With all due respect, and acknowledging that what you are saying is true as far as it goes: it goes only so far as film music is concerned, and yet there are things which pertain to film music which do not necessarily pertain to the overall subject of music purely as music, and I think this is the context in which Rozsaphile was writing. As fate would have it, the following appeared in yesterday's L.A. Times, and I offer it here FWIW:

The article by Dana Ferguson recounts the memories of mezzo soprano Candice Burrows of working with Leonard Bernstein on his "Songfest" cycle. "Bernstein taught her (a) lesson. After she'd become accustomed to following his lead, the maestro stepped back during one performance so that when Burrows sang, he was out of her sight. Rather than relying on his direction, she was forced to tap her own knowledge of the music. 'It was magic. After the show he said, "Every night do something different,"' Burrows said. '"Music is alive and it should never be the same."'"

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/la-et-cm-songfest-bernstein-tribute-20130707,0,2423448.story


Hi, Preston. Great to see you in the fray again.

Yes, I was aware Rozsaphile was talking more in the classical music field, where there's certainly room for greater interpretation. And even as regards film music I certainly wouldn't want to stifle the creative spirit or deny there's more than one way to skin a cat. In fact on that subject I actually have a foot in both camps in that I believe most soundtracks are better edited and made more "home listening" friendly, whilst I simultaneously sympathise with the fan who wants every note exactly as heard in the film, even if it sounds to the less committed somewhat repetitious and nonsensical. I know Rozsaphile would like to see more creativity in film music re-recordings, but that's a slippery slope and takes us into that old "at what point are the composer's intentions being subverted by the interpreter's "vision" debate that's haunted "pure music" aficionados since time began. I wish I had an answer. In terms of "pure music", I believe music is indeed fluid and should be subject to interpretation; at the same time I have a sneaky feeling that ultimately there's only one "correct" interpretation for each listener, and we all know it when we hear it. In terms of film music...wow, I'm just glad I'm not a producer. Those poor guys sure take a beating sometimes, but then that's the price of putting out a commercial product with certain claims attached to it.

In any case I only pick on Rozsaphile because I know he'll let me make outrageous assertions and vague assumptions and not be too hard on me. I take advantage, you see. smile

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 9, 2013 - 2:40 AM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

Well, if he'll let you, I'll let you.

smile

Thanks for the greeting, and please forgive my inverting your numbers.

Cheers,
PNJ

 
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